The Defenders announced Wednesday at a press conference at the Courtyard by Marriott that they will be joining a new league for the 2013 season, the Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL). The Defenders join a number of well-respected, battle-tested, indoor football franchises including confirmed CPIFL teams the Wichita Wild, Sioux City Bandits, Mid-Missouri Outlaws, and a new franchise in Kansas City. Additional teams are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Commissioner James Bain explained the CPIFL relationships with sponsors and with fans doesn't end with one interaction but in the CPIFL there will be a focus on building long-term relationships that will enhance each team's community. Owner Lamar Baker stated, "After last season, we knew the Defenders would require a league with dedicated, structured leadership. We are excited about joining the CPIFL and believe it will benefit Tulsa and the Defenders by ensuring highly-competitive games are played week in and week out. We feel our philosophy of community enhancement directly parallel's the CPIFL's and are ready to start our road to the championship."
CPIFL has developed a league structure that is ran by an executive
committee comprised of team owners, which is overseen by Commissioner
Bain. The league is dedicated to being a fan-friendly league with a
focus on "heart of the Midwest" teams that will make it easier for fans
to travel to away games to support their teams. The league also has a
125-mile rule which requires 20 of the 25-man roster to live within a
125-mile radius of their home arena.
Defenders also announced the 2013 season will be played at the Tulsa
Convention Center with season ticket sales slated to start in October. A
ribbon-cutting ceremony was also held to celebrate the Defenders
joining the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce.